Sunday, 10 April 2011

Bill Plympton (1946 - )

Bill Plympton wanted to become an animator, but when he graduated from college, animation was experiencing a downturn, with studio's closing down.  As a result, he became a cartoonist, charicature artist and illustrator (Plympton, 2010) which led to him developing a highly distinctive style, which he has carried through to his animations.
Fig. 1 The Tune [Film Still]

His first film, Your Face, was made by Plympton alone, without the support of a studio (indeed, he states that many people told him there was no market for animations) and was a critical success, even being nominated for an Oscar.  From this success, Plympton went on to create several feature films (including The Tune and I Married a strange person) as well as producing short animations for television and music videos (Weird Al Yankovich's Don't Download this Song amongst others).

Plympton's animations are characterised by his exaggerated drawing style (reminiscent of charicatures) and pencil/charcoal shading and colour; this is partly due to the fact that he produces all of the drawings himself rather than just producing keyframes.  His work also makes use of extreme deformation to provide a "cartoonish" feel; this is complemented by a sense of humour reminiscent of Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoons, in particular Wile E. Coyote, albiet sometimes more adult.
Fig. 2 Plymptoons [Film Still]

List of Illustrations

Figure 1.  October Films (1992) The Tune [Film Still] [Online] At: (Accessed on 08/04/2011)

Figure 2.  MTV Networks (1991) Plymptoons [Film Still] [Online] At: (Accessed on 08/04/2011)

O'Connor, R (2011) Independently Animated: Bill Plympton In: The Comics Journal [Online] At: (Accessed on 08/04/2011)

Plympton, B (2010) Animator Bill Plympton: To make a film, you must have the niavete and curiosity of a child In: indieWIRE [Online] At: (accessed on 08/04/2011)

Plympton, B (2003) Bill Plympton: Biography In: Bill Plympton Studio [Online] At: (Accessed on 08/04/2011)

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